Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Claremont, CA, United States

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Claremont, CA, United States

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Barham E.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2016

Abstract: The ever increasing threat from new and emerging plant pests and pathogens poses a significant threat to plant health on a global scale. Once an organism is introduced and establishes itself in a new region, it is incredibly costly, both in terms of environmental impact and economic loss, to manage it. In most cases, eradication and containment programmes are most effective when the organism is identified early on. Further to this, the most cost effective management of all is preventing introduction in the first place. Therefore, the role for early warning systems in plant health is becoming more evident. Botanic gardens and arboreta are unique resources that can help provide such early warning and are, currently, often overlooked within plant health. The staff and volunteers that work within these botanical institutes are knowledgeable and passionate people, who if made aware of current threats, can become additional ‘eyes and ears’ for first detection of new introductions. Gardens can also help to increase available information on organisms and, potentially, identify the ‘unknown’ organisms through sentinel research. Plant collections provide a large range of exotic hosts (so-called ‘sentinels’) growing in diverse regions around the world which can be studied to determine susceptibility to potential pests that have not been introduced to their native ranges. The International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) has been developed in order to support such work and bring together botanical institutes with organisations working within plant health. © 2016 Società Botanica Italiana.


It is thought that around one third of all plants, some 100 000 species, are currently threatened with extinction, and this figure is likely to increase due to the impacts of climate change. The world's botanic gardens have a major role to play in conserving plant diversity, through their ex situ collections and their support for reintroduction and restoration programmes, as well as through their education and public awareness programmes. The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) provides a framework for action at both global and local levels, and has been widely adopted by the botanic garden community. The GSPC includes 16 targets to be achieved by 2010 and progress towards these was assessed during an in-depth review in 2008. The review reported variable progress, but it is believed that the Strategy overall has been a success. Plans are now underway to update the strategy beyond 2010, with particular reference to the impacts of climate change. This paper provides more details of the progress towards specific ta gets of the GSPC and the role of botanic gardens in achieving these targets. © 2013 BGBM Berlin-Dahlem.


Jackson P.W.,Missouri Botanical Garden | Sharrock S.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2011

A new international initiative for plant conservation was first called for as a resolution of the International Botanical Congress in 1999. The natural home for such an initiative was considered to be the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD agreed to consider a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) at its 5th meeting in 2000. It was proposed that the GSPC could provide an innovative model approach for target setting within the CBD and, prior to COP5, a series of inter-sessional papers on proposed targets and their justification were developed by plant conservation experts. Key factors that ensured the adoption of the GSPC by the CBD in 2002 included: (1) ensuring that prior to and during COP5, key Parties in each region were supportive of the Strategy; (2) setting targets at the global level and not attempting to impose these nationally; and (3) the offer by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) to support a GSPC position in the CBD Secretariat for 3 years, which provided a clear indication of the support for the GSPC from non-governmental organizations (NGO). © 2011 The Linnean Society of London.


Sharrock S.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International | Jones M.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2011

The European flora is of global significance but many species are facing an ever increasing range of threats, especially the growing impacts of climate change. While various estimates have been made for the number of threatened plant species in Europe, an up-to-date European plant Red List does not presently exist. Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) calls for 60% of threatened plant species to be conserved in ex situ collections by 2010. In the absence of a European plant Red List, it is difficult to monitor progress at the regional level towards this target. To address this gap Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has developed a consolidated list of European threatened species as a step towards a formal Red List. The database consists of national Red List data from 28 European countries and includes records for over 11,000 taxa. National Red List data were supplemented by information on the critically endangered plants of Europe provided by the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle/European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity and the Conservatoire Botanique National de Brest. A list of regionally threatened species was extracted from the database and screened against BGCI's database of plants in cultivation in botanic gardens (PlantSearch) and ENSCONET's (European Native Seed Conservation Network) database of plants conserved in European seed banks. This analysis revealed that 42% of European threatened species are currently included in ex situ conservation programmes in Europe. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Williams S.J.,Bangor University | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University | Clubbe C.,Conservation | Sharrock S.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International | Gibbons J.M.,Bangor University
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

International agreements and policies play an increasingly prominent role in strategies to combat biodiversity loss. However, conservation policies can only have a conservation impact if implemented. Identifying factors determining the influence of a policy on institutions could improve the process of policy development and communication. We examine how and why botanic gardens have responded to the first phase of a global conservation policy (the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation GSPC) using quantitative (questionnaires completed by 255 botanic gardens in 67 countries) and qualitative (in-depth interviews with five gardens in five countries) methods. We found that while the majority of gardens were aware of the GSPC, older gardens in the global north, and younger global south gardens are most influenced by the GSPC. Gardens that are members of a global botanic garden network and gardens with larger budgets are implementing more targets. Targets implemented tend to be aligned with existing institutional aims. Gardens highlighted an absence of a mechanism to feedback successes and failures. The GSPC has recently been reviewed and new targets for the period of 2011-2020 developed. To widen the influence of the GSPC, dissemination should include guidelines on how institutions could implement the policy, with particular focus on influencing younger global north gardens and older global south gardens. There are plans to develop a toolkit to help gardens better understand and implement the GSPC. We recommend the toolkit include a system for GSPC implementers to communicate with each other and to feedback to policy formulators. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Oldfield S.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Botanic gardens play an important role in conserving plant diversity making a major contribution to the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). This strategy, agreed under the auspices of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in 2002, has 16 ambitious targets to be met by 2010. The targets are currently being revised to reflect the reality of climate change and to make explicit their links to the Millennium Development Goals. An important component of the GSPC is the conservation of wild plants for food and medicine. This paper addresses both the overall achievements and challenges of the GSPC and the practical ways that botanic gardens are supporting the conservation of plants important for rural livelihoods. It emphasises the potential for stronger collaboration between botanic gardens and other agencies for the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISSI-1-2015 | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2016

Ensuring the availability of and access to sufficient safe and nutritious food is a key priority that impacts all EU citizens and Horizon 2020 has therefore identified food security as one of the major challenges to be addressed. BGCI, an international network organisation will work with botanic gardens, experienced informal science centres with research expertise in food and food plants, alongside other key organisations to implement the BigPicnic project. This project builds, through the co-creation approach and public debate, public understanding of food security issues and enables adults and young people across Europe and in Africa to debate and articulate their views on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in this field to their peers, scientists and policy makers. The project involves the delivery of low-cost, co-created outreach exhibitions on food security, using the metaphor of a picnic basket; the exhibition will include information, activities and participatory events that engage a broad range of target audiences (adults, schoolchildren and families). Building on audience engagement and data captured from these initial, locally held, exhibitions, the project will run science cafs in publicly accessible and informal engagement areas as well as in botanic gardens, again capturing public views on RRI and food security. The final phase of the project will consolidate the findings of the public engagement to produce two key publications, a report articulating public opinion and recommendations for RRI on food security and a co-creation toolkit that will build capacity for engagement in further science institutions across the EU. A number of case studies on RRI will be provided to support the EU RRI toolkit currently under construction. It is expected that the project evaluation will show organisational learning and change amongst partner institutions. Partners will go on to disseminate training and promotion of RRI for future public engagement.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2009

A coherent classification and species checklist of the worlds plants, animals, fungi and microbes is fundamental for accessing information about biodiversity. The Catalogue of Life provides the world with a unique service: a dynamically updated global index of validated scientific names, synonyms and common names integrated within a single taxonomic hierarchy.The Catalogue of Life was initiated as a European Scientific Infrastructure under FP5 and has a distributed knowledge architecture. Its federated e-compendium of the worlds organisms grows rapidly (now covering well over one million species), and has established a formidable user base, including major global biodiversity portals as well as national biodiversity resources and individual users worldwide.Joint Research Activities in this 4D4Life Project will establish the Catalogue of Life as a state of the art e-science facility based on an enhanced service-based distributed architecture. This will make it available for integration into analytical and synthetic distributed networks such as those developing in conservation, climate change, invasive species, molecular biodiversity and regulatory domains. User-driven enhancements in the presentation of distribution data and bio-data will be made.In its Networking Activities 4D4Life will strengthen the development of Global Species Databases that provide the core of the service, and extend the geographical reach of the programme beyond Europe by realizing a Multi-Hub Network integrating data from China, New Zealand, Australia, N. America and Brazil.Service Activities, the largest part of 4D4Life, will create new electronic taxonomy services, including synonymy server, taxon name-change, and download services, plus new educational and popular services, for instance for hand-held devices.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2010-2.2.1.1 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2010

The science education community agrees that pedagogical practices based on IBSE methods are more effective. But the reality on the ground is different. For various reasons, this type of teaching is not practiced in most European classrooms. INSPIRE counteract this by developing and offering a one-year practically based IBSE teacher training course that will reach out to hundreds of teachers, and in turn thousands of children, in 11 European countries. The course is run through 14 Botanic Gardens and Natural History Museums - some of Europes most inspirational cultural and learning institutions. These places act as catalysts, training and supporting teachers and educators to develop their proficiency in IBSE and become reflective practitioners. Most of the partner institutions have experience in delivering IBSE. To ensure excellence, theoretical rigour and project progression, two highly regarded science education research institutions participate: Kings College UK (informal learning; practitioners research) and University of Bremen BRD (research into teacher education). The training locations, the practical nature of the course, the support offered and the subject content encourages teachers and educators to enrol in INSPIRE courses and try out IBSE in their everyday teaching. Biodiversity loss and climate change are the major global issues of the 21st century and many teachers are looking for innovative ways to tackle these subjects. INSPIRE training supports teachers to do just that and introduce them to institutions where children can carry out real investigations and see science in action. INSPIRE training courses are promoted through national systems that support professional development for teachers as well as informal education training networks. The website encourages the uptake of IBSE. It promotes dialogue between partners and teachers, showcase best practice published on other EU websites and highlight the results of practitioner research in IBSE.


PubMed | Smithsonian Institution, Free University of Berlin, Copenhagen University and Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Annals of botany | Year: 2016

Genomic research depends upon access to DNA or tissue collected and preserved according to high-quality standards. At present, the collections in most natural history museums do not sufficiently address these standards, making them often hard or impossible to use for whole-genome sequencing or transcriptomics. In response to these challenges, natural history museums, herbaria, botanical gardens and other stakeholders have started to build high-quality biodiversity biobanks. Unfortunately, information about these collections remains fragmented, scattered and largely inaccessible. Without a central registry or even an overview of relevant institutions, it is difficult and time-consuming to locate the needed samples.The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) was created to fill this vacuum by establishing a one-stop access point for locating samples meeting quality standards for genome-scale applications, while complying with national and international legislations and conventions. Increased accessibility to genomic samples will further genomic research and development, conserve genetic resources, help train the next generation of genome researchers and raise the visibility of biodiversity collections. Additionally, the availability of a data-sharing platform will facilitate identification of gaps in the collections, thereby empowering targeted sampling efforts, increasing the breadth and depth of preservation of genetic diversity. The GGBN is rapidly growing and currently has 41 members. The GGBN covers all branches of the Tree of Life, except humans, but here the focus is on a pilot project with emphasis on harvesting the Tree of Life for vascular plant taxa to enable genome-level studies.While current efforts are centred on getting the existing samples of all GGBN members online, a pilot project, GGI-Gardens, has been launched as proof of concept. Over the next 6 years GGI-Gardens aims to add to the GGBN high-quality genetic material from at least one species from each of the approx. 460 vascular plant families and one species from half of the approx. 15 000 vascular plant genera.

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